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Applied Biosecurity: Global Health, Biodefense, and Developing Technologies

  • Book
  • © 2021


  • Defines a discrete biothreat assessment process
  • Describes biosecurity practices and principles to be applied outside of the laboratory environment
  • Proposes criteria for credentialing a new type of professional, the biosecurity professional
  • Bridges the gap between biosafety and security professionals

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Table of contents (8 chapters)


About this book

This book describes an adaptable biothreat assessment process to complement overall biorisk management programs, incorporating threat management and the unique natures of biological assets. Further, this book examines the nexus between public health, international security, and developing technologies, building a case for augmenting biosecurity to levels beyond the laboratory constraints. With the face of biological and biomedical sciences changing, this book describes how with proper biosecurity development, these can become assets, rather than liabilities, to secure our world from natural and man-made biological disasters. The world is changing rapidly with respect to developing threats, such as terrorism, and dual-use technologies, such as synthetic biology, that are challenging how we think about biosafety and biosecurity. Further, the fields of public health and international security are colliding, as both of these share the common enemy: intentional or natural biological incidents. To date, biosecurity has been limited to laboratory-level application, and complicating efforts, and lacks credentialed biosecurity professionals skilled in both the biological sciences and threat management techniques. The result is a fragmented field of practice, with tremendous need, from the lab to the outbreak. Underpinning these principles is the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic, providing a historic milestone to examine biosecurity through a global lens.

This book describes biosecurity as a set of practices and principles to be augmented out of the constrained laboratory environment, and applied to larger efforts, such as international threat reduction and biological incident management.

Editors and Affiliations

  • Merrick & Company, Washington, D.C., USA

    Ryan N. Burnette

About the editor

Ryan N. Burnette, Ph.D. is an international practitioner of biorisk management, biocontainment laboratory operations consulting, and biodefense initiatives. He has worked with domestic agencies, foreign governments, academia, healthcare, industry, and independent laboratory programs in more than thirty countries across Southeast Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Europe. He has led national and international biological threat reduction programs and supported the development of biosecurity programs at multiple national laboratories, academic medical research centers, and biopharmaceutical production enterprises. Dr. Burnette’s portfolio includes efforts with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Defense, all focused on building and instituting comprehensive biosafety and biosecurity programs. Dr. Burnette has published in the fields of molecular biology, endocrinology, biosafety, biosecurity, and infectious diseases and is the author and editor of one of the most recognized volumes in the field of biosecurity, “Biosecurity: Understanding, Assessing, and Preventing the Threat,” published in 2013. Dr. Burnette has held positions in the Departments of Biology and Biochemistry at Virginia Tech as well as the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He is currently a Vice President at Merrick & Company, a Colorado-based consulting corporation, where he oversees the Life Sciences practice from Merrick’s branch office in the Washington, D.C. area.

Bibliographic Information

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